It seems there has been no shortage of accidents involving 18-wheelers of late. Over the past few days alone we have shared three such stories with you. In the newest collision, the McClure Tunnel in Santa Monica was the scene of an accident involving two big-rigs and a minivan leaving one person dead and seven others injured. It has been reported that one of the 18-wheelers caused the accident because the driver did not realize that traffic had slowed down.
Two of those injured were transported to the hospital by helicopter after they were cleared from the tunnel. Traffic was backed up for more than four hours while police diverted drivers to alternate routes.
According to A Comparative Analysis of Safety in Tunnels, the probability of an accident occurring in a tunnel is much smaller than having a collision occur on a highway or expressway. When accidents do happen in tunnels, however, the severity of injuries and the chances of death are twice as high. We wanted to understand the main contributors to these types of accidents.
Drivers entering or exiting a tunnel encounter obstacles that do not exist on the open road; they must quickly adjust to the change in lighting conditions. Upon entry they face a ‘black hole’ where the light dims; approaching the tunnel exit brings the ‘white hole’ effect where the light floods their vision and makes it difficult to see. Additional findings from the study suggest the main contributor to these accidents is lack of vigilance – inattentiveness, over-fatigue, and distraction. Driver error is a close second with speeding, wrong over-taking, and failure to maintain the appropriate lane. Finally, misinterpretation of road design and weather conditions is also cited as a contributor to these collisions.
Regardless of the road travelled, whether the open road or a tunnel, drivers have to take every step possible to ensure safe, accident-free travels. Attentiveness to one’s surroundings, obey posted speed limits, and using indicators to signal the intent to change lanes are some measures drivers can take to increase the chances of arriving to their destination unharmed.
Even the best intentions sometimes don’t work out the way we hope and you or a loved one may be involved in a big rig rollover accident. The aftermath can be daunting, but the attorneys at Steinger, Iscoe, and Greene have the knowledge and resources to help you through each stage of the process. As you concentrate on healing, we will work to recover damages for you.
Photo Credit: http://smdp.com/accident-snarls-freeway-traffic/135091